Monday, November 20, 2017

Raiders a Mexico City 'No Show'

Monday Morning News:
Raiders Hit Rock Bottom in 33-8 loss to Patriots in Mexico City

At this point I'm ready to ship the Raiders off to Las Vegas in hopes that maybe organized gambling can pay off NFL officials and/or opponents to let the silver and black win some games. How else can they compete? The team is simply done for the season. There's no fire in their play and absolutely no hint of the high-power offense that was the talk of the league last season.

Something happened to the Raiders offensive mystique when quarterback Derek Carr went down with a broken leg late last season. That and the loss of offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave has drained the confidence and character right out of this year's Raiders offense. We are left with a disinterested group of players going through the motions while a mediocre coaching staff hasn't a clue as to what's broken.

Time to re-evaluate the effectiveness, or ineffectiveness, of coach Jack Del Rio staying at the helm. Though he looks and sounds good at the podium in front of reporters, he's become a consistently bad leader on the sideline. In the front office it's Reggie McKenzie who needs replacing. He's always a day late and a dollar short. Its time for a change in the Raiders organization, top to bottom.

I say ship'em off to Las Vegas early. Find some entrepreneur GM not named Reggie; with vision and guts the likes of Moe Greene, who can build them into a powerhouse football team once again. Because what the Oakland Raiders are today is an embarrassment to the uniform. The Raiders are done in 2017, and have been done since late last season; we just didn't want to believe it.

"You son of a bitch. Do you know who I am? I'm Moe Greene! I made my bones when you were going out with cheerleaders."
―Moe Greene to Michael Corleone[src]

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Raiders Need Everyone In Mexico City

So how the heck do you take down Brady and Belichik on the road in a high altitude environment like Mexico City?

Each and Every Raiders player and coach has to show up and contribute every talent in their arsenal. Then dig deep down and pull out something that resembles a win. There can't be any hesitation or second guessing. No confusion or questioning what to do. See ball get ball. See opponent get opponent. Beat your man with your hunger and skill. 

Go out there and lay it down for each other. Hold back nothing. Focus on the task in front of you and trust that your coaches and teammates are doing the same.  Remember it's not just a game, its a commitment to excellence and winning. On any given Sunday, anyone can get got. Now go get me the Patriots.

Be Professionals, Be Fearless, Be Raiders!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Warriors Locked In & Loaded

What more can you say about the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors that hasn't already been said. They were home facing a feisty, young Philadelphia 76ers team last night, finding themselves in a 74-74 tie midway through the third quarter. No Worries, No Panic, just continue working hard and trusting in the championship delivery plan; pressure defense, offensive ball movement, aggressive high percentage shooting.

The Warriors would break the tie and go on a 20-4 scoring run to show the visiting 76ers the dangerous striking power of a championship team.  The formula seems to always kick in during the third quarter and now with both young and old bench  players flexing their muscles, the Warriors can withstand the best shot an opponent throws without missing a beat.

Casspi, McGee, Young, West, Looney, Livingston, McCaw, Bell. All are showing the unique talents that make them invaluable to another Warriors Championship run.

On a night where former NBA Finals MVP Andre Igoudala was given a rest, the bench players gave notice to the league that there's absolutely no rest for opponents of this seasons' Golden State Warriors; None!

Final Score
76ers 114
Warriors 135

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Tai Chi vs Bagua Scene

There's definitely more to these martial arts forms than meets the eye in this fight scene. The chopping, swirling and flipping that goes into preparing the food below is a reflection of the fighting movements being displayed above.

Though made for the visual pleasure of movie going eyes, the fluidity and balance of the forms are not lost. More important, the respect that the styles have for one another, its as if watching the yin/yang symbol swishing around in a circle. Watch as the two forms become one. Amazing!

Almost as good as watching Snake vs Crane. Almost!

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

World Series Champions Wearing Orange

Yes Indeed! The Houston Astros closed out game 7 in Los Angeles to earn their first ever World Series Championship. They did it by pouncing on the Dodgers early with five runs over the first two innings and chasing the Dodgers starter out of the game.

Then after the Astros rotated four pitchers through five innings without allowing a run, in comes Charlie Morton to suffocate the Dodgers with four Houston Strong innings.

The home team, wearing that ugly White jersey with Blue lettering and blood Red numeral on front, squeaked out a run in the sixth against Charlie, but beyond that little blip the Dodgers and their fans wore puppy dog eyes the rest of the night. It was a beautiful sight! Los Angeles never looked so good at night as tonight. Seeing Astros orange jumping up and down in jubilation at Chavez Ravine felt like Mardi Gras had come west. But not for Da'Bums.

Astros 5    Dodgers 1

Congratulations Houston Astros
..........2017 World Series Champions..........

News Flash: Astros shortstop Carlos Correa proposes to his girlfriend on the field after winning World Series. Wow!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

World Series Baseball Rocks!

Wow!  WOW!

Nobody can put tonight's game 5 of the MLB World Series into words. Nobody.  It was simply a timeless piece of art that will endure long after the baseball artists who created it are gone!

This one's for the late, loveable Yogi!

Don't just hear about it, don't read tweets or eye Instagram shots, it simply won't give you what watching the game LIVE gave us baseball fans. It was five hours of the most thrilling, terror-filled, nail-biting, floor pacing, cursing and I Can't Take It Anymores that any baseball fan has ever lived through. I've simply never seen anything like it; such power, such timing, so many momentum swings. I lost my last nerve a few hours ago and wanna call my doctor for a prescription so I can go to sleep tonight.

Watching on television the loyal, celebrating Houston Astros Fans, who sat through the entire drama, makes me feel like I'm actually there in the ballpark high-fiving and exhaling with them. How the heck those fans made it through the game without medications I'll never know. For those taking blood pressure pills I'll put in a prayer for them to get home safely and without any medical complications. I'm sure every Astros fan in the ballpark is experiencing stoke-like symptoms right about now;

Whole body: balance disorder, fatigue, lightheadedness, or vertigo
Visual: blurred vision, double vision, sudden visual loss, or temporary loss of vision in one eye
Speech: difficulty speaking, slurred speech, or speech loss
Sensory: pins and needles or reduced sensation of touch
Facial: muscle weakness or numbness
Limbs: numbness or weakness

And as a SF Giants fan the real beauty of it all is that the L.A. Dodgers were the losers. They played like N.L. champions though, I'll give'em that. This game goes down as possibly the best modern day World Series game to date. Instead of lights out pitching, we were served a smorgasbord of power hitting. And I don't care what anyone says, home runs are much more exciting to watch over a five hour period than strike outs.

I, like most fans watching I'm sure, tried distracting myself with all sorts of little activities during the game just to get the tension off of me. From working on reinforcing a bookcase to fixing a leaky faucet. None of it worked.

Some games have a way of taking you over, body and soul; this was that game.

If you're not a sports fan then I'm sure this blog post sounds like some fanatical, sports obsessed, go get a life nutcase that needs a purpose in life.  Well let me tell you, after watching this World Series game 5, I can truly say that yes, I'm a proud member of the American Sports Fandom culture who find brotherhood and fellowship in watching special moments in pro sports. Tonight was without a doubt, special. Tonight, I died and went to sports heaven; ten times. It was......Heavenly!

Final Score (10th)
Dodgers 12
Astros 13

Can't wait to watch the replay, all 5 hours of it!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

"Me Love You Long Time" 1987

Why is aging so much fun at times? Because we're able to look back on one event or moment in life, and see how it left its mark on future events. Like yesterday when I went to buy a thank you card for an uncle, thanking him for serving our country in the military back in his day. I was rushed and the only card that looked interesting in the store was a 3D version of a Chinese take-out food box. I figured I could come up with some spicy words to write down inside that'll bring back hot and steamy memories my Uncle might have from serving in the Pacific. He's still a ladies man even in retirement.

I can't say all that I wrote inside the card, but there's one phrase that says it all about the theme and humor in what I wrote, which of course involves women:   "Me Love You Long Time"

When I first wrote the phrase I was thinking, of course, of the 1987 hit movie "Full Metal Jacket" with the memorable scene and dialogue involving the Viet hooker. That scene still amazes me with its clean, antiseptic view of life in Da Nang during the ugly Vietnam war. The people and cars moving by in the background look like an Asian Disneyland promotion with palm tree tops and a man dressed in pristine white, directing traffic. Only the hooker, with her cheap, seducing movement and dirty dialogue ("me so horny, me love you long time,) gives the scene a trashy feel that somehow excites our male hormones. When she turns around and flips up her itty bitty skirt to show panties the scene becomes golden.

Some of the Viet hooker's dialogue were later featured in two rap songs that would change how we in the U.S. look at Asian women and how we view big butts on white females. To think that the 1989 song "Me So Horny" by 2-Live-Crew was banned from the airwaves in Florida because of its lyrics. The rap group was prosecuted on obscenity charges that were later dropped.

I don't think actress Lucy Liu could have been so highly viewed as a sex symbol in the 1990's if the Viet Hooker from this movie had not said "Me So Horny" and "Love You Long Time" the sexy way she said it and with her awkwardly sexy movements. She definitely left an impression on the American male psyche.

And I don't think white women with big butts would have become viewed as sexy, outside of the black community, had rapper Sir Mix-a-lot not thrown the "Me So Horny" line into his hit song "Baby Got Back" in 1992. Today, celebrities like Kim K owe much to the Viet hooker actress whose performance began a change in  Film, Music, Sexuality and overall American Culture. Her performance still reverberates down today into the melting pot that is America.

As for who was the actress that played the Viet Hooker in Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket?"

Papillon Soo Soo

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Houston Astros Win Marathon in L.A.

It was one heck of a World Series Game 2 where the clutch hits just kept coming. The Houston Astros battled and fought off the hometown Dodgers in an extra innings fall classic-Classic.  I have to say that with the way the Astros hung in there for 11 innings, fighting on the road, the Dodgers are left looking at an uphill task. And even though the home team played great, I'm sure some of the Dodgers faithful are feeling a few shivers of doubt climbing up their backs tonight. Houston definitely has swung the momentum in their favor with this hard-earned win.

The teams have both won one game each with the series now heading to Houston where those fans haven't had a World Series champion ever. E-V-E-R! 

The baseball world couldn't have asked for a better matchup, the teams with two of the three best regular season records in the majors are playing like all-stars. Even frick'in Puig is showing a little class by respectfully laying down his bat after hitting a home run; but only after throwing a mini-tantram after missing a diving catch in the outfield. Hey, whaddaya expect, its Puig!

Tough Loss Tonight Dodgers, Tough Loss!

Finals Score
Astros 7
Dodgers 6

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Richard Pryor - Revolution of Identity

For those who might not get the evolution of this 1977 skit, what makes it so funny is watching the transformation of a conservative black president once he's inadvertently reminded by black reporter's of the black issues the country's facing. What happens is the more he's reminded of the issues of black inequality, the more he reverts back to being the black radical brotha who's tired of white privilege and southern dixiecrat politics. 

Reporter:   Mr. President.
President:  What?
Reporter:   James Bixby, Mississippi News.
President:  Sit Down!

I'm amazed at how although this is a fictional comedy skit from forty years ago, our country is still wrestling with many of the issues the skit brings up; 

Peace in the Middle East
Nuclear Bombs
FBI Director Nominations
Quarterbacks, Coaches, Owners in NFL
Sexual Misconduct Accusations
Christian Right

Maybe its not that Richard Pryor prophesied the future of America, but that America hasn't progressed much in forty years. 

Reporter:    Mrs. Fennan Carlton Macker, Christian Womens' News. Mr. President, since you've become president, you've been seen and photographed on the arms of white women.

Crowd:    ooh ooh ooh

Reporter:    Frankly sir, you've been courting an awful lot of white women, will this continue?

President:    As long as I can keep it up. I mean, why do you think they call it the white house?

In the end it comes down to one thing that completely sets off the fully transformed black president and causes him to lose all decorum; a white reporter talks about his momma.

Don't you be talkin bout my momma!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Hey Sports Networks, Guess Who's Not Going to the World Series

I just love it when the obvious media darlings in a playoff game are eliminated and the broadcasters left speechless. When the Houston Astros first broke through the 0-0 tie with a solo home run shot in the fourth inning, the broadcasters went dead silent, like their favorite team was in jeopardy of losing. I hate favoritism in the broadcast booth, unless its my team being favored of course.

So the legendary mighty Yankees weren't that mighty when it mattered this time around.

Yep! In game 7 of the ALCS, the Houston Astros took down the New York Yankees in a series that saw the home team win all seven games. The Yankees were in it and threatening in the top of the fifth with men on first and third with one out. On their next hit ball, Houston's third baseman fielded the infield grounder and threw a perfectly placed throw into the catchers mitt just before the Yankees runner reached home plate from third base. Seemed like the catcher caught the ball only seconds before catching the foot of the runner sliding home. The tag was obvious, the Yankees runner was called out and that's when I knew, its over.

That play seemed to inflate the confidence of the Astros and at the same time deflate the hopes of the Yankees. It also deflated those Yankees broadcasting fans in the booth. 

The Astros would go on to score three runs in their bottom half of the inning to make it 4-0 and that's how this ALCS deciding game would end. Congratulations Houston Astros on a AL Championship Season!

Yankees 0

Friday, October 20, 2017

Oakland Raiders Classic TNF Win

WR #89 Amari Cooper touchdown catch and run in Raiders 31-30 win over Kansas City Chiefs

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times! A Thursday Night Football (TNF) game in Oakland, between two old AFL rivals (Raiders vs Chiefs) is just what Raider Nation and the Raiders organization needed. The Chiefs played like the conference leading team that they are. The Raiders played like the dominating offensive team they were thought to be at the start of the season. In the end only one could be victorious, though both played their butts off.

It was the best of times for both teams because a short week after a loss gives players no time to dwell on the past game. It was the worst of times for both teams because a short week also means players can't fully heal from aches and injuries sustained in their previous Sunday matchups. 

The game itself was a battle for the ages as the Raiders rediscovered their wide receiver weapon that is Amari Cooper (11 rec / 210 yds / 2 tds). The Raiders not only rediscovered Coop, they dusted off their old arsenal of attacking offensive schemes and knocked the Chiefs defense off their game just enough to win. I knew it on the Raiders first offensive play, an out pass to Coop for about 11 yards and a first down, that the offense had given up the vanilla flavor schemes, at least for one game. That predictable handoff to Marshawn Lynch up the middle early in games was gone.

This game saw Lynch mostly as a decoy; and the Chiefs bit on the play action almost every time. By the time Lynch was thrown out of the game for touching an official during a scrum, Raiders running backs Washington and Richard were giving the offense a spark with spurting runs and catches out of the backfield.

It was fitting to have soulful saxophone player Mike Phillips perform the star spangled banner under the Coliseum lights with a huge, 100 yard flag being held by what I think were military personnel. Also the Raiders 1967 AFC Champion players were introduced before the game to loud, passionate screams from Raiders fans. And you know, as usual, big papa #00 Jim Otto always gets the biggest cheers. So the stage had been set for two legendary pro football rivals, one sporting red devil red, the other angelic white, to take the field and give the screaming barbarians their paid pound of flesh. Neither the players nor the fans disappointed, it was beautiful! And yes, there was a jetfighter flyover.

This game ranks right up there with some of the best Raiders games I've ever seen at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum. And it wasn't just the electrifying plays on the field; the electric vibe throughout the Coliseum was magnetic and intoxicating for all who were mesmerized after willingly drinking the kool-aid. 

It was what was at stake for the Raiders season that had Raider Nation tense from the get go. A Raiders loss would've definitely been a nail in the coffin for this season and possibly prompted changes in the coaching staff. Instead, the talk is all about the team still in the playoff hunt and looking like a legitimate contender for the crown. Also, with the debut of newly signed linebacker NaVorro Bowman, who was given a thundering ovation during defensive introductions, the night couldn't have had more drama and expectation in the air.

If I could bottle the emotion and passion that touched upon every fan at that game last night, I'd present it to world leaders with a note attached saying "here's the scent of world peace, use it." I swear I saw blacks hugging whites, home foreclosure victims hugging investment bankers, Christians hugging Muslims, Republicans hugging Democrats and Bernie look-a-likes, Israelis hugging Palestinians and crips n bloods flashing truce signs. I stand by what I've been saying for years, a Raiders game is the only place where you can go amongst people of all different backgrounds and walks of life and feel like all of them are your brothers and sisters, period.

Raider Nation is more than just a fanatical fan base for a perceived renegade team; its a living, breathing example of what you get when the concept of unity meets the practice of fellowship. 

It was a rare moment in football and sports that players, coaches and fans live for and can only hope to be a part of. Raiders coach Jack Del Rio kind of touched on what "the excitement of being in that position" is like, during his post-game interview. He had definitely drank the Kool-Aid and did well in giving facts while you could see he was full of the fun that winning a game like this brings. Jack might be one of the best at handling post-game press conferences win, lose or tie.

Hopefully last night's nationally televised Raiders game reminded our country of just how unique and wonderful it's varied culture of citizens are when given a level playing field in life ,where the same rules of conduct and competition apply to all.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

NaVorro Bowman Dressed In Silver & Black

#53 Now Protecting The Shield

Former 49ers middle linebacker NaVorro Bowman has signed with the Raiders. It might be a too little too late addition to our defense, but at least our sometimes questionable GM (Reggie McKenzie) didn't sleep on filling a Raiders need.  Bowman brings 7 years of experience and a huge chip on his shoulder. If nothing else he'll help in the development of our young linebacker corps.

The Raiders are facing the division leading Kansas City Chiefs this Thursday night. The silver & black are coming off another loss that featured a toothless offensive game plan. Is it possible they'll use Bowman as a fullback to block for Beast Mode? Anything should be possible when trying to spice up our offensive playbook. We're 2-4 heading into this game. Its all hands on deck if we want to salvage any chances of having a successful season. A Chiefs win will all but bury the Raiders playoff chances. A Raiders win might just awaken a beast that's been hibernating through four games.

Come'on Raiders Coaches and Players; we have a defining moment approaching for Raider Nation. Show us you haven't given up on the team. Show us you're willing to give everything you have to protect our house. Show us that you're capable of sending Andy Reid and the Chiefs back to KC with a second loss in five days. Show us a dog that can still hunt.

Just Show Us!

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Rest In Peace - Connie Hawkins

He was the basketball player who brought New York City float and flair street-ball to the NBA. Though his early professional career was marred and delayed by a point-shaving scandal that he had nothing to do with, Connie Hawkins made it to the pros and left his mark on the game.

I have his autobiography on my book shelf, "Foul!: The Connie Hawkins Story by David Wolf." I set it down after a few chapters because of the sadness of Connie's early life of poverty and being bullied.  I remember skipping through to the chapters about the scandal and found more sadness, so I set it aside again.

Now with "The Hawk's" passing I feel I owe it to myself and the humble legend to delve into his autobiography and not let up until I've come to know the high's of Hawk's career and life.  I do know that he was a Harlem Globetrotter for a while, that's a life highlight. He also was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame, definitely a highlight.

Too think that Julius Erving, "Dr. J.," might of modeled his signature slam dunk after The Hawk's ball-palming style of attacking the basket is definitely a highlight for him.
Connie Hawkins, one of the best players to ever play the game. A Basketball Legend, from the playgrounds of NYC to the Arena's of professional sports. The Hawk will be remembered.

Career highlights and awards
Career ABA and NBA statistics
Points11,528 (18.7 ppg)
Rebounds5,450 (8.8 rpg)
Assists2,556 (4.1 apg)
Stats at
Basketball Hall of Fame as player

Connie Hawkins; A Victim of Injustice

Monday, October 02, 2017

Another Moment of Silence (Gun Laws)

Gun Violence....

While listening to sports talk radio last night I was made aware of the mass shooting that took place at an outdoor country music concert in Las Vegas, not far from the proposed new Raiders stadium location.

I immediately turned on the television and saw incredible phone footage of people at the concert running in terror while loud, staccato, popping sounds can be heard. I mean it was Loud!Surprised that anyone could hold a camera phone so steady as shots are being fired all around them, I realized its just a sign of the times. I realized also that the lone gunman taking lives with an assault weapon is just a sign of the laws in our times here in America. 

I know it might not feel like the appropriate time to address the laws still needed to govern access to guns and ammunition, but for those who lost their lives yesterday and their loved ones, the time is way too late. I am not an advocate for a gun free country, I am not knowledgeable of the differences in the various assault rifles and machine guns and such. I am just a law abiding citizen who asks myself every time there's a mass shooting like this, Why and How can we prevent this from happening again. 

It's hard for me to believe that Gun Lobbyists throughout the United States value doing business in guns and ammunition, more than they do the lives of innocent American citizens. Don't they see the footage from these sad incidents? If guns don't kill people, the angry, mentally unstable people with Guns kill people. Or possibly the laws allowing angry and mentally unstable people access to Guns. So what's the common denominator? Guns Kill People!

I am so sorry for those victims and their families who've been affected by this senseless violence. You are all in my prayers. I urge all Americans to research what political persons and/or political groups are upholding not the right to bear arms, but the right to sell arms and ammunition of mass destruction on American soil. Then consider why any politician or any patriotic American would even consider voting against a law that bans such destructive weapons. The fact that Nevada has some of the most relaxed gun laws in the country should not give us reason to write this most recent mass shooting off as just another shooting in a gun friendly state. 

If I have the choice of possibly saving one human life by helping laws to ban automatic weapons get passed, I'd choose to back laws banning those weapons every time. And if I had to come up with a profile of the type of person(s) or groups that would turn down a law that bans the selling of such weapons I'd give these character traits (but keep in mind I'm not an expert profiler):

weapons manufacture owners and their investors and lawyers, business partners with financial interests in the sale of weapons and ammunition, terrorists, anti-Americans, government politicians (campaign donors), war profiteers, weapons special interest groups (lobbyists) paramilitary groups (U.S.).

Here's a "Dear America" letter written after this most recent mass shooting. It is not a feel good letter nor is it a letter of apology or sympathy. It's a wake up call letter for American citizens. I thought the letter a bit harsh and insensitive about violence and mass shootings. I didn't wanna hear or feel the pain and guilt that truth sometimes delivers. But I read it and reluctantly have to agree with it's theme of how crazy to think these kinds of mass shootings will ever stop without laws to ban and/or make it more difficult to obtain such weapons. The author is foreign.

Dear America: The Las Vegas shooting was not a tragedy; it's a sickness.
by British Journalist Susie Boniface aka Fleet Street Fox

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Come-To-Jesus Time for Raiders Coaching

Is the nation's Commander-in-Chief running the Raiders now or what?  Come'on Man!

The Oakland Raiders Offense has looked offensive in their past two losses. Why is that? Coaching, you think?

Sure the players on the field must execute, but the game plan they're executing has to outsmart and out maneuver the opposing team game plan, and that's just not occurring. This definitely falls on the coaching staff. Watching the Raiders makes me feel like the team is getting sabotaged from within. Yeah, I said it, from the Oakland Bay Area I said it!

You mean to tell me the Juice Got Loose today and my Raiders can't get outta Denver with a frickin' win?

The Raiders have talent on offense and defense, but it takes talented coaches to legislate plays, packages and personnel placement on the field. The team is not good enough to dominate opponents one on one. They must play smart, shifty, matchup creative football. The defense has shown that they can carry their load, the offense needs to find their groove and pull their weight. 

Why not use your big fullback (Jamize Olawale) to open holes for Marshawn Lynch? Why not scheme double tight end power play now and then. Show something to the opposing defense that makes them say "hey, this isn't a predictable Raiders scheme." Why not just go Andy Reid mis-direction plays on opponents to slow down their defense?

Offensive weapons cannot take advantage of a defense if they're dictating every play before the ball is snapped. They're making the defenses they face look like Nostra-Frickin-Damus! I know its football and the same offensive plays can be found in all 32 NFL team playbooks, but talented coaches know how to poker face plays so the opponent can't ANTICIPATE what's coming.

Teams aren't only anticipating what the Raiders offense is running, they're DICTATING what the Raiders offense can run by honing in on every TELL from the silver & black scheme.

And the sad part is the Raiders offense knows the opposing defense knows exactly what play is coming; and that's why we're seeing a Raiders offense looking defeated and out of sorts on every play, regardless of down and distance. Defenses aren't even looking for Marshawn to catch a screen or swing pass, they know when and where he's gonna run the ball. They also know exactly where Carr's drop back spot for passing the ball is, and they're collapsing the pocket right to that spot.

It's all around frustration for the Oakland Raiders and if the coaching staff continues to feed the players vanilla game plans, expect the injuries to mount, the losses to pile up and the opponents to show no respect for what was predicted to be a juggernaut offense.

Come'on "Riverboat Jack (del Rio)," put on your poker face, step up your game so those you're leading into battle can step up there's. There's still time in the season to turn this thing around. Look at what you have in your staff and players and most importantly, in yourself. Be the change you wish to see in your team!

Just Win Baby! 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Street of the Sun

Miguel laughed. "The senorita enquires about you, Fidel. You, with your sixteen years, have accomplished something which none of the young caballeros of Havana have been able to do. Do you know how many there are in this city who would give anything to have the senorita notice them? Come, greet her, boy, for she is not in the habit of doing such things."

"You embarrass me, Miguel," she fluttered her fan, "and I am sure you equally embarrass your friend. How can he greet me before he is introduced to me. You are lacking in manners not to have presented him?"

"Present Fidel? Margerita, are you serious?"

"And why not?"

Miguel shook his head.

"Aye de mi? I can see you are not a Cuban. Had you been Cuban, you would have taken one look at Fidel - that would have been enough - and had I presented him to you you would have been shocked."

"Stop talking in riddles, or I shall become angry with you. I see a handsome young lad who accompanies you in your coach. I take him for a friend of yours and I would naturally suppose you would introduce us."

Miguel winked at Fidel but spoke to Margerita. "Fidel may be a friend of mine and yet he is not a friend. It just happens that I bought him a few days ago. Look closely, my dear, can't you see he is not white? He is a slave. Therefore I could not possibly introduce you to him or him to you for, according to our custom here in Cuba, it would be like introducing you to one of the horses that pull our coach."

"I can't believe it. The boy is not black. I always thought all slaves were black."

Miguel motioned to Fidel to move nearer and the boy dropped on one knee on the bottom of the coach. Miguel loosened the neckband of his shirt and pulled coat and shirt down, revealing the boy's bare shoulder. "Look? Now will you believe?"

Her face whitened. "I see a scar. No, it is not a scar. Valgame dios? He's been branded."

"Of course, all slaves are."

"But why did you do this to him?"

"Look more closely, my dear. The Santiago arms are two falcons; this is a lion rampant. The brand is not of my doing. He was branded when I bought him."

"Is that true, Fidel?" Margerita's unbelief almost made her doubt Miguel.

"Por supuesto, senorita. I was branded before don Miguel bought me."

"Yes, Margerita, he's a slave and he belongs to me. I bought him only a few days ago in the Mercado. As a matter of fact, I bought two slaves and Fidel is one of them."

"What sort of a country is this where one buys a human being with money?"

"Just like one buys a dog or a horse or a cow. Exactly. You see, although I am an exception, Cubans do not consider a boy like Fidel human. In the eyes of the world he's an animal - a little higher in breeding than a horse or a dog because he has the ability to reason and to express himself but an animal nonetheless. This I do not subscribe to. Yet, despite my feelings in the matter, the other day I entered Solano's market as casually as I might go to my tailors to buy a new suit or to the jewellers to buy a snuff box. I went there to make a purchase of a man. It was not the first time, of course, because previously I have bought field hands - blacks often straight from Africa whom I purchased as I would an animal by looking at their teeth and the sleekness of their skins.

"But this time it was different. I went to buy a servant to replace our aging major domo and I ended up by buying two - the fellow Antonio and this Fidel here. Fidel looks up to Antonio as though he were a god. I must confess I myself was impressed with the fellow - he's good looking, intelligent and well educated and I would defy anybody to detect the slightest taint of Negro blood in the man. In fact," Miguel was almost apologetic, "Having been in prison, his skin was even whiter than mine which had been exposed to the sun. Do you know, as I considered his purchase, something strange happened to me."

"What?" Margerita asked.

"For one fleeting moment, I felt that I was for sale and he was buying me. I do not know what came over me but it was such a revulsion that I was tempted to free every slave I owned. Then my grandmother and I decided to do exactly that and from now on the Santiago family will employ only free labour."

Margerita placed her hand over Miguel's. Her fingers closed tightly around his. She glanced across at Fidel but his cheerful grin denoted nothing but happiness. She was near to tears but they seemed wasted.

"How pitiful?" She had been deeply moved by Miguel's words. "I shall be proud of you if you do free your slaves."

"But all Cuba will hate me," he shrugged his shoulders. "Well, let them. We Santiagos are a law unto ourselves."

The mask that formed the Quesada's face showed signs of coming to life. It started to move, like plaster cracking and the thin line of her lips parted sufficiently to allow the words to come out. Her eyes, steely blue, were fastened on Miguel.

"Am I right in believing senor, that these unfortunates are all of them persons of colour?"

Miguel nodded. "Yes, everyone held in slavery or sold in slavery has coloured blood. Even a single drop of Negro blood damns a man to servitude. All issue of female slaves in turn become slaves. Now this boy here," he pointed to Fidel, "I would judge to be a quadroon. That is, he has three-quarters white blood and from his looks I would imagine that some of it came from some Scandinavian, a sailor perhaps, whose blond hair has shown up in this lad. Negro blood is always on the distaff side, you know. Although the gentlemen of Cuba have been strict at drawing the line between white and coloured in public, they have always had a fondness for crossing the colour line behind the closed shutters of their bedrooms. Therefore we have many here in Cuba which you might not easily recognize as coloured. Some of them can boast noble blood in their veins. This Antonio that I bought - his mother was an octoroon girl and his father the Duke of Ramar. So, you see he is just one-sixteenth or possibly one-thirty-second coloured."

"The Duke  of  Ramar?' The senora was impressed. "You mean.....?"

"I mean that my slave is the natural son of the Duke. Through his father he is related to half the kings of Europe but according to Cuban law, he is as black as any black bruto newly arrived from Africa with a stick in his nose."

The senora sniffed. It was apparent that she did not credit the mingling of blue blood with black. In recomposing her mask, she narrowed her lips and then retreated behind the facade of what she fondly imagined to be aristocratic snobbishness.

Margerita leaned over and patted Fidel's hand. "Stop talking about slaves. You embarrass the boy and in truth you embarrass me."

But Fidel was not embarrassed. He was far too happy. That his feelings should even be considered was a new experience to him. Previously nobody had ever noticed his existence as a person. Now he was dressed in silk and velvet, riding in the Santiago coach alongside the master whom he worshipped as a god and the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, who had patted him on his hand.

"The senorita must not distress herself over me. Truly, I had rather be a slave to don Miguel than be Governor of Cuba. You see senorita, Antonio and I are together and we love him." He reached over for Miguel's hand and carried it to his lips.

Miguel drew his hand away quickly and gave Fidel a slap. "The boy's an actor, Margerita, a born actor. He loves to dramatize himself. You should have seen the show he put on at Solano's to get me to buy him. He knows how to play on one's sympathies. See how he has affected you. I think I'll send the beggar to Spain and put him on the stage. All his swooning and posturing. But in spite of it all, he's a good boy."

Margerita settled back in the corner of the coach and Miguel found her hand hidden under the folds of her skirt. Fidel, who had never been out of the city before, stared out the window and the senora looked blankly at the passing landscape, so different from the pinched grey-greenness of Spain. The coach had left the city far behind and was now well on its way to Marianao, beyond which lay the finca.

Note: Miguel comes up with the idea to give Fidel to Margerita for her protection from night thieves. Margerita says she would love to have Fidel but that she does not believe in keeping slaves. Margerita says she'll accept Fidel on one condition, that if he belong to her he be free. You shall belong only to yourself she says. She has the coach pull over and performs a type of knighting ceremony with a sword to make Fidel's freedom official and gives him a gentlemen's last name. Margerita chooses to name Fidel, Fidel Dorado, Fidel meaning faithful and Dorado meaning golden as in his hair, eyes and silk suit color. Fidel the Golden.

pgs 96-103
The Street of the Sun by Lance Horner
author of Mandingo

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Raiders Championship Season is upon Us

Carr, Coop & Mack are Back!  And they've added something special that should put all worries of past seasons on the rack; Beast Mode is now wearing Silver & Black!

Oakland Raiders - Just Win Baby!

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Raiders Training Camp Visit

Well I've finally forgiven my Raiders for their business decision to move to the desert. The unforgivable city officials are the villains I blame for the breakdown in negotiations to stay in Oakland. They had home field advantage, possession of the ball, time on the clock and still simply fumbled the ball away, game over. I may not agree with owner Mark Davis moving the team, but I understand when it's comes to doing profitable bizzness!

I do expect to celebrate an Oakland Raiders Super Bowl championship before they leave the bay. We diehard, dedicated silver and black fans are owed nothing less than a Lombardi Trophy to add to our championship case. Over the past fifteen years we've put up with our city, our owner, our team, our league all falling short of helping the Raiders return to greatness. Now we appear to be rebuilt and loaded with all the arsenal needed to take our place amongst the elite NFL teams of the league once again. 

My training camp visit didn't reveal much about the team. It was a hot, sweaty, Napa, California afternoon that brought out the silver and black fans, God love'em. As usual, it's the offensive position football skills that are most noticeable at training camps. And let me say that the Raiders have running backs, receivers, quarterbacks and a plan to attack defenses this season.

QB Derek Carr was his accurate throwing self with no signs of lingering effects from the leg injury sustained last season. Carr looks reeling and ready to go, showing a zest for the love of his teammates and the game. Former first round pick EJ Manuel is a Raider and could prove invaluable should our..............let's just say he's a welcome sight to see backing up Carr. He was rifling passes to receivers in practice with pinpoint accuracy. I still like the kid Connor Cook's arm. Connor I saw dropping passes into the hands of receivers with a touch so graceful; but again it is non-contact practice.

Briefly saw Marshawn Lynch beast-ing through the O-line, but it was DeAndre Washington showing off an explosive toughness to finish plays right in front of me that pumped up the volume. DeAndre looks like he added some muscle and/or beast attitude over the offseason. He'll need it to spell Lynch and pick up the slack from big back Latavius Murray leaving to the Vikings. Jalen Richard and George Atkinson III were there but didn't see much of them. Nor did I see the Mexico City Marauder FB Jamize Olawale, who should be a big part of our short yardage offense this season. And we can't sleep on rookie RB Elijah Hood. Yah never know what young buck the beast bug will rub off on. He's a likely candidate!

New tight end Jared Cook was also seen making plays. There was also the little speedster Jaydon Mickens, wide receiver from last season's practice squad, sprinting around tacklers bringing back memories of Jacoby Ford . And did I mention newly acquired wide receiver/kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson showing off his receiving and returning skills?

It's only Day 4 of training camp. I'm like all football fans in August, craving on-field action with a passion that's snarling at the end of it's leash. I've been here before with the Raiders, seeing all the potential on the team and thinking "yes, this is our year." Well folks, with little to go on but gut instinct, I'm already planning to attend a championship parade in Oakland come 2018, and it won't be led by Steph Curry, Draymond Green or KD.  I'm talking Carr, Mack, BeastMode and the whole damn cast of silver and black personnel right down to the Raiderettes riding up Broadway and around Lake Merritt in a victory parade like no other. The Raiders have a good chance to go the distance this season and I am onboard for the ride. Win, Lose or Tie...........

Oakland Raiders 2017
"It's Our Year!" 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Golden State Warriors Home Stretch

Okay, I'm guilty this time of posting Warriors information from another site. Thanks KSRO for providing a Warriors game breakdown that coincides with my own analysis of what I saw tonight. Great win Warriors!

Warriors Drop Memphis in Playoff Style Game

By Cole Reece| March 26th

Tonight the Golden State Warriors began a stretch of 5 games in a row against playoff caliber teams. The Grizzlies had been a thorn in the side of the Dubs all season long. Memphis has played the Warriors tough and tonight’s contest was no different. In the 1st quarter, the Grizz slowed the game to a crawl and frustrated the Dubs. Andre Iguodala came off the bench and absolutely changed the complexion of the game. He added instant offense and brought energy and tempo back to the Warriors. It was a playoff-like atmosphere, and neither team could seize control. The Grizzlies relied heavily on points in the paint. They scored 30 first-half points inside the restricted area. In the 3rd quarter, Klay Thompson became the embodiment of “Splash”. Thompson scored the 1st 10 points for the Dubs. Matt Barnes joined the fun with 10 points as he looks even more valuable as Durant nears his return. Mike Conley would refuse to let the Grizzlies go quietly. Down (74-81) with under 1:30 left in the 3rd he helped tie the game up at 81. Golden State made their push towards victory in the final quarter. It started with defense where they held Memphis to just 13 points. Curry pushed the game out of reach with 8 points in the final frame. The Warriors wound up winning by the final score of 106-94. Klay Thompson was spectacular, and the Warriors drained 17 three-pointers on the night. The Quest for the number 1 seed got off to a great start for the Dubs. Up next Golden State continues their quest in Texas against the Rockets. Make sure to tune into KSRO for the next installment of Warrior’s basketball.

Stars of the Night: Thompson 31 points, 7 of 11 on three’s, 21 2nd half points. Iguodala 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. Curry 21 points, 5 three’s, and 11 assists. Mike Conley (Memphis) 29 points and 6 assists.

The Bigger Warriors Story of the Night: Steph Curry fan Isaiah Simpson

Black New Yorkers React To White Terrorist

Only in America! I have to believe that only in America can an individual commit a premeditated racist attack in hopes of spreading terror in white women and black men, and have it called anything but Terrorism.

Terror came to New York City this past week in the form of a white American racist bent on killing African-American men. James Harris Jackson of Maryland arrived in New York City and stalked potential African-American victims before unleashing his terror on 66 yr old Timothy Caughman. The terrorist weapon of choice was a 26 inch mini-sword that resembles a military bayonet.

What New Yorkers are finding disturbing, and well they should, is that the attack and attacker were quickly labeled white supremacist as opposed to terrorist.  They're wondering how a 2014 killer of two cops could be called a terrorist and James Harris Jackson not be labelled the same by the media. Could it be because cop killer Ismaaiy Brinsley was a black man from Brooklyn with Islamic faith leanings?

Attacker James Harris Jackson admitted afterward to police his plans and purpose for coming to New York City and killing a black man; to stop white women from entering into relationships with black men. He also said his attack on Caughman "was practice" for a larger attack against black men in Times Square.

This was not a "Dry Run," but a successful act of violence to create terror and fear in particular races of men and women. Jackson seems not to consider himself supreme over black men, but rather angry with white women for inter-relating with black men. The killing of black men appears to be just a means to an end for this attacker. Seems a bit twisted and complicated. I'm sure that in Jackson's diseased mind, it is.

We continue to see Americans commit crimes of terror and hatred here on American soil. Regardless of who it is and why they choose to terrorize and kill Americans, our media must be unbiased and consistent in their reportage of such incidents. If news media cannot do so, then they're as much a part of the Black Lives and Immigrants not mattering perception as any.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Gift of Verse

For my Grandson on his 18th birthday. May you someday find comfort in reading these few lines with understanding, knowing the wise message of being one's own man to be so.

Character of a Happy Life
by Sir Henry Wotton

How happy is he born and taught
That serveth not another's will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill!

Whose passions not his masters are,
Whose soul is still prepared for death;
Untied unto the world by care
Of public fame, or private breath;

Who envies none that chance doth raise,
Nor vice; Who never understood
How deepest wounds are given by praise;
Nor rules of state, but rules of good;

Who hath his life from rumors freed,
Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make oppressors great;

Who God doth late and early pray
More of His grace than gifts to lend;
And entertains the harmless day
With a religious book or friend;

----This man is freed from servile bands
Of hope to rise, or fear to fall;
Lord of himself, though not of lands;
And having nothing, yet hath all.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai --- Victorious --- Over Chocolatito


In his first loss ever, super flyweight titlist Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez was as courageous as ever. Against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, a challenger from Muay Thai country (Thailand), a bruised and bloodied Chocolatito battled to what I personally thought was a draw if not a win.  Seemed Sor Rungvaisai was never really hurt by Chocolatito and fought a solid fight. The Thai boxer put Gonzalez down in the first round with a shot to the body. Chocolatito needed all his ring skills and toughness to stay in there with Rungvaisai, who seemed bigger and stronger.

The 12th round might go down as one of the best of this seasons' boxing rounds. The two tired fighters exchanged blows with wicked abandon, but neither could stun, stagger or knockdown the other. The fight had action all the way through. The blows weren't always noticeable, but the work these two fighters put into the fight was definitely championship caliber.

Congratulations to new Champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai for showing up and delivering a fierce Ong-Bak like challenge to one of the best fighters in boxing today. Thailand should be proud of their champion. I hope to see a rematch.

As for the main event: Gennady Golovkin vs Daniel Jacobs. Sorry Triple-G, but you did not win that fight.

Jacobs brought it to Golovkin all night and Triple-G didn't seem to have an answer for his power and speed.

But for the knockdown that I thought was more an off balance mow-down, the fight seemed even with no clear winner or loser. But judges do what they do after such battles and Triple-G retained his WBC welterweight belt. As Jacobs stated afterwards, Triple-G has the bigger name brand and I guess the buildup to Golovkin vs Canelo Alverez supersedes Daniel Jacobs; or something like that. Either way, Jacobs, who wasn't expected to go the distance, has solidified himself as a legitimate championship-caliber boxer and he just might've exposed to other challengers weaknesses we once thought unthinkable in Triple-G's style.